Sunday, September 28, 2008

Financial Peace University

Dave Ramsey

I've signed up for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey is a news radio talk show host who gives people advice on their financial situation. He teaches at big event seminars and has written a couple of best-seller books. He has written an 13 week course that you take, usually at a church but not always, with a group of folks like ourselves.

I'm not in trouble. I just want to make my money achieve some savings goals. For example, I want to do a very weird thing, I want to pay CASH for my next car. Dave says it is do able. His famous line is that "we must live like no one else now, so that later we can live like no one else.

How it works

What we do is each week watch an hour DVD video of Dave teaching. We then discuss the principles Dave has taught with each other. We are then given homework assignments. The thing that clinched it for me was this point from their "How It Works" page:
80-20 Graph
Beat Debt Build Wealth
The goal of Financial Peace University is not just
information - we're looking for transformation!
Financial management is only 20% knowledge
and 80% behavior.
We help break the bad habits
that rob people of true financial success.

I'm really excited about this course. I believe it will help me realize the savings goals I want to achieve and have more peace of mind about my money.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The "Best" Way

Vs. Getting Things Done

I have an illness. This illness usually results in in-action. It is something I struggle with and sometimes am successful in conquering and sometimes not. This illness is the compulsion to not do anything until I do it "the best way." This is an illness I have struggles with all my life. I'm in recovery now and I usually can get things done without it having to be the best. But recently, I've had a relapse in the disease. I have a lot of things to find new homes for. I have an inventory of Trudie's work that I know people want. I have a bunch of nick-nacks that I no longer need and have been loved in the past but are no longer appreciated by the present owner. I want to move on but I also want to do "what's best."

As I have said before, one of my new favorite sayings is "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly." I still have times when I don't do anything but now I tell myself that it's worth doing poorly and I go ahead and do it.

Do you have times of perfection paralysis?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Bosnia Video

Digital Story Telling Workshop

I've been wanting to make better videos. I've known that good technical video technique did not necessarily make a good video. What makes a good video is a good story. This is an area in which I am weak.

Last week I spent three days at a workshop in Washington, DC, put on by the Center for Digital Story Telling. We went through a quick but intensive time making my first digital story.

I made it about my experience in Bosnia. Here's my finished story:

My Bosnia Story from Patrick Bartkus on Vimeo.

My thoughts on creating this

I had a great time making this video. I had great feedback from the instructors and other students in the workshop. We worked hard and we all came away with great videos. I already know the topic of my next video: My Beard and the Great Shave.

Your thoughts on this

So what do you think? I'm interested to know what you think about what I've made.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mark your Calendar

The date is Oct 5th

That is the date I will go to a barber shop and go under the straight razor. I'm going to a local barber that still uses a straight razor and he will do it the old-fashioned way. I've got a couple of friends who are coming with me to video tape the whole process. I plan on putting together a story video with the footage at a later time.


I am having a "coming clean (shaven)" reveal party that night. If you need details, e-mail me and I'll send you an e-vite with directions. It looks like it is going to be a fun party with food and games.

What will I look like?

I don't know. It has been since April 12, 1972 that I've been completely with no facial hair. That's 36 years. Hopefully, I'll look better. If I don't like it I can always grow it back but it will be a while before I decide that.